Handling more than 45 million passengers in 2016-17, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is the second-busiest air transit hub in the country. People use it daily in humongous numbers to fly in, fly out or as an intermediate stop or layover. You might be having a layover at the airport sometime in the near future, and layovers can be excruciatingly boring, if long. So, what to do? But, worry not. There is lot that can be done at the airport itself that would make your layover less boring and much more productive. Read ahead for ways to utilise your free time at the Mumbai Airport: Roam Around (the Museum)
If you are thinking, “It’s just an airport. What good is roaming around going to do?”, then you are in for a surprise. The swanky Terminal 2, which primarily handles international flights, is also a museum, named Jaya He. It features an almost 3.2-km long wall along the travellators that contains over 5000 artworks and artefacts, depicting the life and culture from all parts of India. All you have to do is stand on a travellator with your hands firmly holding the railing, and the moving walkway will take you on a memorable journey. Make Good Use of Lounges
The best way perhaps to make the most of a long layover in Mumbai is heading to the lounges here. Whether you are travelling in First, Business or Economy Class on an international or domestic flight, the Mumbai Airport has a lounge for you. There are seven lounges in total where you can relax:
- GVK Lounge (T2-Internationl): Accessible to First and Business Class flyers, it has a smoking zone, Wi-Fi connectivity, spa and shower area, library, business centre, reposing section, and food and beverages
- GVK Lounge (T2-Domestic): Accessible to people flying on domestic routes, this lounge offers the same facilities as the one in the International area of T2
- Loyalty Lounge (T2-International Departures): Offering unlimited alcoholic drinks and snacks, lavish buffet, newspapers and magazines, plush seats, charging points and Wi-Fi, it is open to walk-in passengers (payable) as well as holders of certain credit cards
- Loyalty Lounge (T2-Domestic Departures): Just like the one in the international departure area of T2, it offers facilities like Wi-Fi, magazines and newspapers, scrumptious buffet and mobile/laptop charging points along with spa therapies
- Loyalty Lounge (T1): Open to paying passengers and those, holding certain access passes, the Loyalty Lounge inside domestic Terminal 1 provides unlimited food and beverages, magazines and newspapers, flight information, television, Wi-Fi, and power points for laptops and mobiles.
- Pranaam Lounge (T2-International): Accessible to all international flyers, it offers comfortable seating, luggage storage, work station with wireless internet, cabanas, baby care room, non-alcoholic hot and cold beverages, snacks buffet and personal boarding alerts.
- Aviserv Lounge (T2): Designed especially for Economy Class flyers, it features sleeping pods, shower, breakfast (a la carte and buffet), dress steam and luggage storage.
Go on a Shopping Spree
If you are a shopaholic, then you would only wish that your layover in Mumbai was a bit longer because there are hordes of retail stores spread throughout both the terminals. You can purchase accessories like belts and scarves, Indian and Western clothing, footwear, cosmetics, toys, gifting items, gold and precious stone jewellery, books and electronics. There are duty-free stores as well, where you can buy tobacco products, Indian and international liquors, and food items at a much lower price than in the market. Eat like a Maniac
Just like shopping, there are hordes of options for dining at the Mumbai Airport. Be it cafes, family restaurants, fast food joints or take-away venues, the air transit hub has them all. You get an incredible variety of cuisines to choose from, including North Indian, Gujarati, Maharashtrian, Chinese, Italian and American. Outlets of all popular culinary chains like Café Coffee Day, Starbucks, Subway, Domino’s, KFC, Faaso’s, Haldiram’s, Burger King, Baker Street, Pizza Hut, Punjab Grill, Chai Point, Costa Coffee and Irani Café exist inside the two terminals. Get Some Much-deserved Pampering
Long flights can be tiring and also uncomfortable sometimes. So, treat yourself to some much-needed pampering at the spas here. There are spas in certain lounges, and also stand-alone ones like O2 in the Domestic Departures area of Terminal 2 and Heaven on Earth (Terminal 1-Departure and Terminal 2-International Departures), where you can get a range of massages and relaxing therapies. What’s more? You can get a number of beautifying procedures done as well! Take Care of Pending Work
Let not the fact that you are at an airport keep you from completing your pending work, as Terminal 2 houses a full-fledged business centre, Regus. It features a shower area, café, co-working spaces, business lounge, private workspaces, conference facilities and meeting rooms. After a long and exhausting flight, you can come here to get refreshed, have breakfast and get started with work before you have to board another flight. Now, you know that the Mumbai Airport is so much more than just an airport. It’s a museum, shopping mall, food court, hotel, business hub and spa all in one. So, don’t be afraid to book flights with long layovers because with all these options at your disposal of keeping yourself engaged, such periods will never be boring again.